Composite Fillings (Mercury-free)

For over a century, dentists have relied on “silver” amalgam fillings as the only reliable treatment for cavities. However, recent advancements have made composite “white” fillings a safer and more aesthetically appealing solution.

At Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group, we are pleased to offer the most modern technology and procedures available, and this includes composite fillings. Our dentists only use mercury-free fillings when treating cavities and damaged teeth, and value your health above all else.

The safer solution

While amalgam fillings are commonly referred to as “silver fillings,” about half of the compound contains mercury—a toxic mineral that has been linked to a wide range of illnesses. Some researchers have hypothesized that Mercury vapour may be able to enter the body through the filling and accumulate in the body over time.

Health Canada recommends dental patients ask for mercury-free fillings, especially children, pregnant women, and those with impaired kidney functions.

Mercury is primarily used to bind the materials of amalgam fillings, but the emergence of composite fillings with an adhesive bond makes using the toxin in dentistry an unnecessary risk.

Should I replace my existing amalgam fillings?

While we do not suggest the early removal of your amalgam fillings, we recommend switching to white fillings when they need replacing—typically after 10-15 years. Over time, they become worn out, cracked or begin leaking from the pressure caused by chewing, and replacement is necessary to prevent further damage to the tooth.

What are white fillings made of?

Composite fillings are constructed from a tooth-coloured mixture of ceramic and non-BPA acrylic materials. An adhesive is first applied to the tooth to create a secure bond with the filling.

White fillings have been used to repair front teeth for years, but recent advancements making the compound stronger have allowed for them to be used in back teeth where chewing causes wear.

More advantages of white fillings

In addition to being the safer option, white fillings offer plenty of advantages:

  • Dentists can match the filling compound to the shade and colour of your enamel, allowing the filling to blend into your teeth. Your teeth are white—why shouldn’t your fillings be as well?
  • Improved bondage of the filling to the tooth provides better structural support and restores the strength of the tooth. This also allows the material to repair cracked and damaged teeth.
  • A smaller hole is necessary to place a composite filling, allowing for more healthy tooth matter to be saved.
  • Some patients report less sensitivity of their teeth with a white filling—and no more painful sensation of a silver filling reacting to some metals.

Do composite fillings hurt more?

Not at all. There may be a temporary discomfort when the tooth is numbed and freezing is applied, followed by a pressure feeling as the filling is placed. In most cases, this can be done in one appointment.

We strive to use the modern conveniences available to make your procedure as comfortable as possible. We are happy to offer sedation dentistry to patients who are anxious about their next visit with us.

Will my insurance cover white fillings?

Composite fillings for cavities of back teeth are a fairly recent practice and some insurance providers do not cover the costs. We recommend confirming your coverage plan with your insurer prior to the appointment.

Your destination for composite fillings

Our dentists are highly trained in placing white fillings and are happy to provide further information about the benefits of the modern cavity treatment offered at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group. Please contact us with any questions you may have or to book an appointment.